Pest inspectors throughout Middle Tennessee are warning homeowners to be on alert as mild winter temperatures have brought termites out much earlier this year.
Tom Dixon of U.S. Pest Protection says the termites are about a month earlier than normal.
“April is the huge month for termites going through their reproductive stage. We're actually seeing a lot of [reproducing] right now and have over the last two weeks,” Dixon told Nashville's News 2.
Dixon warned this could only be the beginning of an extended termite season. He urges homeowners to take precautions before it's too late.
“Inspection is [the key] of course,” explained Dixon. “The other thing is earth to wood contact. Any earth to wood contact that you may have in your crawl space or in your home that comes down, you would want to make what changes need to be made to get rid of that.”
Dixon also suggested removal of any firewood stacked beside the foundation of a home.
“Also, it is not always easy to tell if a home is infested with termites until they are seen” said Dixon, “When they swarm out, they're black, they have wings on them and they literally can come out by the thousands and that's generally the only sign [of termites] unless homeowners are in their crawl space to do an inspection.”
Dixon estimated that termites cause roughly $5 billion in damage to homes each year.
Tennessee is located in what's considered a “moderate to heavy” zone for termites which means the potential for damage is significant.
For more information, visit USPest.com.